Monday, September 26, 2011

Pro-life atheist's review of 180 Movie

[Editor's note: Today's post is by Patrick Ptomey. It originally appeared on his blog and is reprinted with permission. The film is embedded at the end of the post.]

I've been an outspoken supporter of the protection of all human life for just as long as I have been a non-theist.

It's not news that a large majority of people in the pro-life movement are Christian. And they aren't afraid of letting you know that abortion is wrong according to the Bible. They use abortion as a stepping stone to encourage people to turn to god. This is the problem with the pro-life movement. Society and the media have become so disillusioned by the overlapping and intermingling of religion and abortion that abortion has become a religious issue instead of a human rights issue. The result: to be a Christian you must be pro-life, and to be an Atheist you must be pro-choice. Never mind this neglects all the other religions of the world; which is proof that converting others to Christianity is the biggest goal of the Christian pro-life movement.

As you can grasp, I'm not in favor of religiously charged pro-life arguments. This has been written about numerous times by fellow pro-life secularists, so I'll save my rant for a later date.

I am writing this blog in response to a video posted by Ray Comfort last Wednesday, the 21st of September. The short film is titled "180" Movie and compares the horrors of the German Holocaust to the horrors of abortion in the U.S. using simple logic. Ray interviews dozens of young adults about their feelings towards the Holocaust, some of whom were unfazed by the loss of life. He proceeds to put the guests into hypothetical situations, forcing them to choose between their own self-comfort and the lives of helpless others. This comparison of Nazi Germany to abortion is not unprecedented, but for some of you it may be the first time you see the two side by side. Watch as he puts people into awkward situations by catching their contradicting positions.

Although I am not a fan of Ray Comfort for obvious reasons, I have to hand it to him.

He did a wonderful job arguing for the protection of unborn human lives by capitalizing on the illogical and contradicting mindset of countless people. The best part is that he did this without bringing religion into the discussion. This is proof that people can understand abortion is wrong regardless of their belief system. I hope all of Ray's fan base can see that abortion can be argued on a moral ground, using the issue of human rights to make their case. I have my doubts though.

Like I mentioned above, Christians often times use the abortion issue to make a case for their god. Just as I was applauding Ray's method of debate, I should have expected some plug for god. Ray spends the last ten minutes of the film explaining that people should repent because we are a "self-admitted lying, thief, blasphemer, adulterer at heart." Weren't we just talking about abortion a minute ago, Ray? I guess I should have known that he was going to throw in the 'Hell Card', but I encourage everyone to watch at least the first twenty minutes of the video. Also, be careful to note that this video is highly edited and may feature reconstructed questions and answers.


Anonymous said...

Great review! I also would like to see more people using a secular and logical argument for being pro-life. In my opinion, this is necessary for the continuation of the pro-life movement as western society becomes more secularized.
I also didn't understand the last 5-10 minutes of the video when he basically told people they were going to hell (but apparently he does this quite often lol)
Otherwise, it was a great film.

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Bill Fortenberry said...

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Anonymous said...

I guess I'm an anomaly --as a Pro-Choice Christian.
I believe abortion is wrong based on the 6th Commandment, however, God is "pro-choice" in that we have complete freedom to choose to obey or disobey His commandments. He doesn't want any puppets.

Your human rights angle is an interesting one to me, but if Christians haven't swayed my views, you're not going to either. Here's why:

I see abortion as a moral issue, not a legal issue. The human rights issue is compelling, however, given that society can't go back on technology --abortion is not going to go away, EVER on any grounds: legal, spiritual or appeal to human rights.

Therefore, I strongly feel believe that abortion should remain safe and legal. Illegal abortions, whose results have been witnessed less and less over time in the US is dangerous, tragic, and traumatizing.

I hated Ray's tie into politics, "will you vote for someone for abortion now?" I hate "single issue" voting, it's far too simplistic.

And as far as Ray's question, "Is it ever OK to murder a baby?" According to the Old Testament the answer is "Yes, if the mother's life is in danger." So, he didn't get that part right.

Needless to say, my views are not popular among Christians 000

George said...

I am a christian and believer of christ and I do agree with other posts on here that there needs to be more of a secular and scientific argument towards abortion than merely saying "Cause God said so"

Now I wont go off on all the arguments i have against abortion because well just spark yet another debate but I will say since I am studying a biomedical major with a political science minor I have found scientific and logical evidence without having to use the word God to bring abortion into a more logical sense.

I am a large pro-life activist but I just don't do it in the way a lot of my pro-life friends would. You have to understand the world we live in (especially in western society) that here we don't react to the God talk but to more rational and logical understanding. I support the secular pro-life movement 100% keep it up!